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Atmospheric Scientist (f/m)



Start date
Deadline for applications
Job title description

Atmospheric scientist to assess the global distribution, intra- and inter-annual variability, and long-term trends of ozone and water vapour in the troposphere, in the stratosphere and at their interface.

Division, context

Team “Atmospheric Data Synergies” in Division “Atmospheric Composition: Reactive Gases”

In the Division “Atmospheric Composition: Reactive Gases”, the Team “Atmospheric Data Synergies” has developed a distinctive expertise in the synergistic application of data acquired by global measurement systems of atmospheric composition in the Earth’s lower and middle atmosphere, and by chemical-transport modelling. Activities of the team include the development of strategies and tools for the in-depth characterization and harmonization of remote sensing data, support to data processor evolution, and the integrated use of the data in scientific applications addressing atmospheric ozone and its precursors, water vapour, air quality, and the links between atmospheric composition and climate change.

In particular, the team participate in international assessments combining complementary observations from multiple nadir and limb sounding satellites in diverse orbits, and from ground-based monitoring networks. More generally, the team contribute scientific research and services supported by the Belgian Federal Science Policy (BELSPO), the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the European Organisation for Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).


The candidate will participate in the research of the Team Atmospheric Data Synergies contributing to international assessments of ozone, precursors and water vapour distribution and changes, related in particular to ESA CCI, IGAC TOAR-II, and SPARC LOTUS activities. The candidate will work on the harmonization of atmospheric composition data records from multiple satellites and, using proxies for major sources of external forcing, develop innovative methods to derive more robust estimates of past and current atmospheric composition changes at various temporal and spatial scales.

Special care will be given to data harmonization in the troposphere, stratosphere and their interface, and to processes affecting atmospheric composition and variability in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UTLS). Ozone and water vapour assessments will be carried out to confirm expected or detect unexpected patterns in the geographical distribution, oscillations at various scales, intra-annual and longer-term changes, links with precursors, troposphere-stratosphere exchanges, and to discriminate between natural and anthropogenic forcing.

Required competences
  • Master Degree or PhD in Sciences or Applied Sciences, with strong background in physics and chemistry; post-doc level preferred, although possibility for PhD scholarship.
  • Proficient programming skills for data analysis and visualisation (Matlab, Python…) under Unix/Linux and Windows.
  • Good knowledge of the global atmosphere system, its composition, and related air quality and climate science.
  • Good knowledge of data and signal analysis, metrology, remote sensing, atmospheric spectroscopy.
  • Proficient oral and writing skills in English; coordination and editorial abilities for complex technical documents.
  • Ability to work with precision and in autonomy in a group, to take initiatives and responsibilities, to respect deadlines.

Desired competences

  • General knowledge of aeronomy, air quality, climate change and public health and associated assessments and directives.
  • Knowledge of data retrieval, merging and assimilation techniques, of measurement uncertainty evaluation and propagation.
  • Knowledge of advanced file formats (Ames, HDF, NetCDF) and file transfer protocols, ability to write specific tools.
  • Ability to work in an international environment, to develop and maintain networks, to travel occasionally (3-day missions).
Offer and benefits
  • Two successive 1-year contracts for a full-time job (38h/week), with annual evaluation.
  • Salary according to the federal regulations for the scientific career in the SW1 (PhD student, young scientist) or SW2 barema (senior post-doc), depending on diploma and relevant work seniority (public + private sector).
  • Refund of commuting expenses when using public transportation or bicycle.
  • Possibility of acquiring a bonus for bilingualism (Dutch/French).
  • Flexible schedule, possibility to telework occasionally from home.
  • Dynamic work environment, opportunity to participate in scientific seminars, trainings, international scientific symposia…
  • Green, pleasant setting in Uccle.
  • Interesting holiday scheme, on-site childcare during school holidays in July and August.
  • Access to social and cultural advantages arranged for the employees of the federal scientific institutions: collective hospital insurance, federal museum card, special discounts via the Fed+ Benefit at Work platform…



Send your application and a complete CV with reference: “D32_OWCA” to:

  • j-c.lambert(at)aeronomie(dot)be
  • hr-ae(at)aeronomie(dot)be (in cc)


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More about BIRA-IASB

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute.

Since its creation in 1964, BIRA-IASB has been conducting research and providing public services in space aeronomy, i.e., the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets, and of outer space.  

Our scientists use instruments on the ground, in the air, aboard balloons and on satellites, and numerical computer models.